5 dishes to remember from one of Conan’s latest recordings

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Image by Conan O'Brien

Conan O’Brien
Photo: Coco Team

After almost 30 years, Conan O’Brien walks away from late night TV, choosing to focus on projects like a weekly variety show on HBO Max and its podcast, Conan O’Brien needs a friend. It’s a wise move for Conan, who often shines the most when left to his own longer-form devices like ranged segments or charming travel promotions. That being said, it’s still a blow to the die-hard #TeamCoco alike the fans who went out of their way for him following his ill-fated. Tonight show run, or those who, like Bill Hader, found Conan in the early 1990s and identified with his absurd humor. To get a glimpse of the fandom and what Conan’s last nights in front of a live audience were like, we landed a ticket to one of the last recordings – the June 14 episode, with special guest Patton Oswalt – to check it out for ourselves. Here is what we took away.


1. Conan fans aren’t what you might think anymore

The first time I saw Conan O’Brien in concert was in 2000, and he was still dancing around 30 Rockefeller Center as the host of Late night with Conan O’Brien. (Dana Carvey was the main guest on this recording.The crowd was in their thirties and thirties eager to get a glimpse of Conan’s manic energy and his underdog integrity. In many ways, the crowds on that June 13 recording (which aired the following night) were the same, some 20 years later. Most of the spectators seemed barely old enough to remember when Late at night debuted in 1993, though they were even born then. It could be the kind of audience that TV recordings tend to attract – especially those that require super-fast fingers to secure tickets online – but instead it felt like the crowds were there. because she had fallen in love with Conan’s online character through Youtube videos and his podcast. When Conan did the string dance after taking the stage there were a few ‘woo’s’, but some of the crowd seemed even more delighted when they spotted Conan’s assistant and podcast co-host. . Sona Movsesian at the exit of the theater.

2. Andy Richter deserves more credit

Sure, Conan O’Brien has been headlining since 1993, but Andy Richter also deserves a shout out as it all comes to an end. Since Ed McMahon, there hasn’t been a better late-night sideman. What Andy does requires real skill, and since the ‘end of an era’ pieces focus on Conan, it should be noted that Andy, along with a few other writers, producers, and band members, has been on his toes. sides most of the way. . Andy had a hell of a run, and more recent Conan converts – like the person next to me in the crowd who said, “This guy should have his own show” – should really investigate some of his other projects, including two sitcoms, Andy Barker, IP and Andy Richter controls the universe, both of which are criminally underestimated.

3. Being in a crowded audience after the pandemic is strange

It’s not much more than the above statement, but it seems surreal to be wrapped side by side in a live audience in 2021. Granted, everyone wore masks and had to present their notebooks. vaccination cards filled to enter, but strangers touching me? Particles flying as people scream and scream? Totally weird. I think we will have to get used to all this to enter the world.

4. Conan seems to be done

When Conan took the stage, he seemed excited, especially since the recording was his first comeback in front of a live audience since the start of the pandemic. He admitted that he lacked energy and attention, which came out of his podcast, where he often jokes with Movsesian about his constant thirst for positive reinforcement. Still, it didn’t seem like Conan was running at 100% capacity. He didn’t have the fervor or fever that I witnessed when I first saw him over 20 years ago. Then he spent a good deal of his time before the show doing crowd work and even dancing. Now, almost two decades later, he doesn’t seem as interested in getting involved. The show even suffered a restructuring in 2019, moving from a more traditional one-hour, multi-guest format to a more focused, one-guest, 30-minute chat show. It’s understandable; he’s done almost 4,500 episodes of his late night show in one form or another, and it has to be about one person. If the passion for the project is no longer there, one cannot blame Conan for moving away.

5. We can’t wait to see what’s next

When Conan started his podcast, it sounded like a lark, a new project for the host as part of the “see how far I’ve fallen” riff he has so often applied to his career. It took off, however, garnering around a million downloads per episode in its first season and earning Conan’s praise from posts like Variety, who called him “the darling of the podcasting world”, to the dismay of Marc Maron. Conan also found flexibility and freedom in his frequent special trips, which took him all over Ghana to Greenland. In the recording we attended, the biggest laughs came during two pre-recorded video clips: one featuring highlights from Conan’s Clueless Gamer segments and another capturing a 2013 trip he made to the American Girl store. Videos dating back to Conan’s bizarre history have also garnered attention online in Conanthe last round of, including Paul Rudd slips a final Mac and me clip in the program and Conan’s hugely popular shows during San Diego Comic-Con.

While Conan has long been a late-night host, it may be audiences’ conceptions of what late-night should be like that has kept him from achieving any real success in recent years. With the move to streaming, he may be able to find programming fluidity that can help him thrive. What if one episode of his new show was just a panel discussion with former presidents and another was just Conan fooling around on a Marvel set? Maybe a Jack White jam session, then Conan’s guide to France? If the variety show Conan promised is nimble enough to capture everything from the wit and wisdom of its lengthy conversations to the sheer silliness of one of its distant tracks, then we’re absolutely okay with it. .

The final hour-long episode of Conan Airs Thursday, June 24 at 11 p.m. EST on TBS. Jack Black is the guest.

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